Spate is a surreal experience set in a world that seeks to draw the player into its reality. Spate is a dark, brooding, and beautifully crafted emotional journey that is seen through the eyes of a struggling addict.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (231 reviews)
Release Date: Mar 27, 2014

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Reviews

“Metacritic - "Spate is heavily focused on what it can best deliver: story and atmosphere.”
8/10 – Eurogamer

“Metacritic - "If you loved Limbo, Dear Esther or Gone Home, you will definitely love Spate."”
8.5/10 – SpazioGames

“The variety and uniqueness of the game’s world is truly a joy to encounter.”
5/5 – Gizorama

Feature List

  • Visuals - Artist Eric Provan, previously of Jim Henson, Walt Disney, and Sony Animation, has created an unforgettably surreal steampunk world. Layered with rain, symbolism, and atmosphere.

  • Narration - Fully narrated by award winning Voice Actor Jack Bair

  • Story - Join the detective on a missing persons case that brings him to the mysterious X Zone islands. He hopes to uncover some of the island’s mysterious, but is finding it increasingly difficult to battle his own pain; the death of his daughter and his growing alcohol problem. Will he succumb to the impending madness?

  • Secrets - Discover tons of hidden content and easter eggs

  • Alternate Endings - Which path will you chose to take?

  • Drink - Take a swig of absinthe at any point in the game. Side-effects may occur.

  • Soundtrack - Enjoy the haunting handcrafted score by award winning composer Mike Raznick

  • Controls - Fully tested with Xbox360 controller and Logitech Gamepad F31

About This Game

Spate is a surreal experience set in a world that seeks to draw the player into its reality. Spate is a dark, brooding, and beautifully crafted emotional journey that is seen through the eyes of a struggling addict. Created by former Disney & Jim Henson artist Eric Provan, this artistic game is a story about one man's struggle and descent into madness. Fueled by absinthe hallucinations and haunting memories, Spate delivers a deliciously eerie adventure as the main character deals with the tragic loss and grim reality of the death of his daughter.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz CPU (Dual-core recommended)
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVidia 7600, ATI X1600 or better. Preferably with Shader Model 3.0
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 2.5 GHz CPU (Quad-core recommended)
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Dedicated Video card with Shader model 3.0 support.
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, or later.
    • Processor: Intel Core Duo Processor (2GHz or better)
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon 2400 or higher / NVIDIA 8600M or higher / Intel HD Graphics 3000
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu, Mint
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz CPU (Dual-core recommended)
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Dedicated Video card with Shader model 3.0 support.
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
18 of 19 people (95%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2014
A short, mild/slow platformer with good graphics and a basic story. This game is mostly about visuals and atmosphere. I don't think there is enough or difficult enough platforming to recommend it to someone who is mainly looking for a platformer and I don't think there is enough of a story to recommend it to someone looking for something closer to a visual novel, RPG, or adventure game. Also, there are no puzzles or problem solving in Spate.

If you are looking for an atmospheric game with good visuals and a very basic story, then I would reccomend it.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 18
As the video game medium evolves into a more comprehensive experience, mechanically defined genres have blurred, thematic material and atmosphere emerging as the most accurate descriptions of games. Spate is neither a platformer nor a two-degrees-of-freedom walking simulator; it is a psychological thriller, ripe with counterplay between its prominent mechanic and its aesthetic intentions.

The Negs --
Spate is a game that relies heavily on illusion and atmosphere. You are held in harrowing hallucinations as much as the protagonist, but this captivation spirals down the drain faster than a slick steamer in a Taco Bell toilet whenever you speak with the main NPC, a comedic relief robot that passes for funny only in abrupt contrast with the otherwise somber environment. The game's exposition switches between text box (for conversations with NPCs) and voiced narration for the protagonist's thoughts. The text boxes aren't the best writing and they have several grammatical errors (as does the store page description if you care to look for them), but the real issue is in the execution of these internal monologues. The writing for these is slightly less obtuse than store-brand cereal names. In a genre that demands vague motivations and misleading actions to unsettle the player's own thoughts, this title was rather direct in all things. Any misdirection by the narrator is almost immediately recanted and explained. Interpretation is unheard of. Also, these narrative monologues come up in one of the 6 distinct gameplay portions. These are open straightaways (wherein the long narration occurs), NPC interactions, platforming segments, sliding sections, "Angry Birds" mini-games, and "Helicopter Game" mini-games (you know, the one we all used to play on public school computers with the bright green cavern walls and terrible collision boxes where you click to fly up and release to fall down while constantly moving right). I suspect that the straightaways are designed as such that you can just listen to the narration and take in the environment without much thought as to where to jump or what pitfall to avoid. The problem is that these are too long. If you were to continue to walk right for the duration of the monologues, it would often conclude long before the next segment of gameplay. This is suboptimal design. Besides, the platforming sections are so infrequently strewn into the game with such embarrassingly shallow challenge that there would be no concern for distraction should the player encounter one during important exposition. The sliding sections are slopes that your character slips down without any control. The two mini-game types seem to be attempts at bolstering the gameplay, but they neglect that Spate's most enticing characteristic is not its gameplay. I will say, though, that the most fun parts of the game were the "helicopter" segments. My very minor complaints for this title are some collision glitches and an uneventful soundtrack that was just a smattering of sounds you might hear in any token thriller.

The Pos --
Eric Provan developed this game as a personal project and I am glad he did. Provan has worked for Disney's and Henson's animation studios, and he designed models and textures for such works as Frozen, The Amazing Spiderman, Alice in Wonderland, and Big Hero 6. His experience in 3D modelling provides Spate with its most powerful aspect: a haunting visual trek through a fantastically detailed world. The game is set in a steampunk era, and it plays well with the dark and mechanical environmental elements. The visual experience is unrivaled by most 2.5D side-scrollers; it develops a cerebral existence with themes symbolically integrated into the geography of the protagonist's world. While the story is not especially well-written, it does offer an emotional journey if the player wishes to be so engrossed. This is actually the most satisfying part of the game to me. The game very early informs you that you can take a swig of absinthe at any point during the game. The effect is shocking at first, the world twisting and distorting, backgrounds shifting into monstrosities. Having consumed the spirit, the player can move slightly faster and jump significantly higher. As is the case with absinthe, the player will encounter hallucinations on account of the drink which really embellishes the story in every good way. I will not ruin any plot elements in this review, but I will say that the entire game can be beaten without drinking absinthe, only some of the platforming sections are made stupidly simple if you are under the influence (due to the jump height advantage). I loved this intertwining of mechanic and story, since an alcohol addiction may make coping with pains significantly easier but it is never one's only option. A slighter pleasantry I should mention is the pacing of the game. It took 2 hours to play through, and I did not feel that any distinct section was drudgery, since the narration and visuals did mesmerize me quite well.

The Verd --
It may very well seem that I loathed this game, but its mistakes had much to do with the gameplay, which was not Spate's draw in the first place. Rather, thrilling atmosphere and striking animation are what this title offers most. I would have to dissuade those looking for a fun platformer from purchasing this game, but anyone who might be interested in a spectacle of mind games in service of a gloomy theme must experience Spate. For missing out on an opportunity to further immerse the player by melding more of the mechanics with the plot and for leaving the gameplay unattended, Spate garners a [7 / 10]. A dark theme terrifically employed into an uncertain world, Spate makes a great game for anyone willing to overlook its design flaws.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 25
Personal Rating: Wasted
Classic Rating: ★★★★☆

Spate is the story of a man who lost his family and became addicted to drinking; it's a surreal trip in search for answers which probably are not going to be found.
It's a story about love, though, without any doubt.

About the technical aspects of the game, I had some problem related to low framerate but i was still able to play it; moreover i found an issue about preferences not being saved - subtitles were set to off every time i quit the game and my XBOX 360 controller was working half-way.. i could move but couldn't use any buttons until i mapped them: then again i lost those settings after a Windows restart and had to re-map those buttons.

Big thanks to Eric (game developer) for your kind support and my best wishes for your next projects.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 9, 2014
If you like Limbo and Deadlight, or if you like a vivid, trippy atmosphere with nice music and narration, then you will like this game! http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUXrCLUQcQ5AMZ0bZl4MstGT9kKUkkfrE
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 13
I was in the Kickstarter of this game and I am glad that it came on Steam. The game felt like an interactive short story game. I really enjoyed the art style and the surrealness of everything. It is on the short side but I felt fulfilled from playing through it. I was a fun little game and I enjoyed it.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 2
Simple and beautiful game. It feels a little depressing, but i love it.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2014
Short, Beautiful, and an alcohol mechanic that sets this game apart. Not much in the gameplay area but if you can look past it you'll find something pretty interesting.
Full review here on my youtube channle.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9isa3B7vQgw
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2014
A decently done walking simulator with the occasional platform jumping sections. Nothing special game wise, but a decent little story (Narrated by a fake Morgan Freeman) with some really great art and a nice little drink absinthe all day long and get drunk feature. Nice and short - well worth the time to play through.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 25
Midecore at best. Good visuals, slightly above average story and boring gameplay that made slighty better with the drink.

All in all, average game so buy it on sale only.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 26
This game is great when it comes to atmosphere, platforming, and being surreal as all hell. As you further progress through levels you see things grow more weird and that you have visions of your lost daughter also you got a bottle of absinthe that makes things REALLY fukn weird.

Est. time to complete - 1 to 2 hours
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
ilginç bir platform oyunu arayanlar oynasınlar. atlama zıplama harici atraksiyonu yok yalnız. ha bir de araca bindiriyor 2 kez. ama ben çok beğendim. farklı bir deneyim. tavsiye ederim.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 3
Played this game from start to finish in one run. it's far from being perfect due to it's short gameplay time, mediocre voice acting and some control issues but as an adventure game it's beautiful both visually and audibly.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2014
Are you among the many who thought that Dear Esther could have been just a tiny bit more, erm, "challenging", gameplay-wise? But did you, on the other hand, find Limbo just a little TOO demanding for your decidedly ♥♥♥♥-poor coordination, reflexes and/or puzzle-solving skills? Well, have we got just the game for you!

Spate is a gorgeously epic and dream-like platformer which teaches kids all about the ups and downs of alcohol abuse, and suggests that while absinthe will usually just lead to child neglect and marital disintegration, it also has its benefits, such as giving one the boundless energy required to perform super-human feats of death-defying derring-do which even the most suicidal of "extreme sportsmen" would balk at attempting; all whilst our anti-hero muses casually to himself about the wrong he has done in his life, thanks to his dual addictions to detective work and the dreaded demon drink. It's a mostly day-dreamy, though occasionally perilous, journey through landscapes both bleak and beautiful, as seen through the eyes of a po-faced protagonist wearing a gas mask and sporting an unfeasibly oversized arm. In short...it's ABSOLUTELY BLOODY FANTASTIC. Unhesitatingly recommended for the head-in-the-(storm-)clouds, miserabalist romantic residing in all of us. Well, in me, Morrissey and the twisted folk who made this game, anyway...

Verdict: 9/10.

(PS The ending very nearly made me CRY. The ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s!)
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 30
It looked beautiful
Something about depression about a guy's daughter
Good Soundtrack
This is a must buy.
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7 of 13 people (54%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 16, 2014
If you like walking simulators then try it out. IMO it doesn't offer anything, loads of questions with no answers.
Only one man walking with nothing to figure out, no different paths to take and almost no skill needed to complete the game.

After everything you go through in the end you may end by killing yourself and the main character is an addicted alcoholic.

While game isn't like horrible, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

4/10
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73 of 80 people (91%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 27, 2014
A fantastic 2.5D jump and run game
Played in a black surreal world, somehow the visuals remind me of American McGee's Alice.
You will follow a story that the narrator, which is the player, will tell you while playing.
There are obstacles but no enemies, except for your faulty jumps and falls.
The music, the colors, the narrator, the rain, everything adds to the atmosphere.
It's not about achieving a big boss goal by fighting your way to this point through loads of enemies (no spoilers here), but about enjoying the story and the surroundings.
You will meet robots, strange creatures, talk to them, come to strange places and you will be seeing stuff that could have been drawn by Dali.
The game is far to fast over if you sit in there and are an avid jump and run player, but just to remind you, you will miss a lot if you just rush through.
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47 of 58 people (81%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 27, 2014
Fun fact: absinthe doesn't actually cause hallucinations.

Spate is, despite it's erroneous science, immensely beautiful. The surrealistic backdrops and bright colors are truly wonderful. The constant storms, the overlay of winds that manipulate the lighting does add to the chaos of our assigned absinthe addicts mind. It adds to the madness. It's a 2D game in a 3D plane, which gives way to a plethora of amazing art-decisions. There are houses, cliffs, rubble, just floating around, sometimes in front of our screen - this can be incredibly annoying while doing some of the more precise platforming since it obfuscates our path, but it could be intentional to make an otherwise easy game a bit harder(bad way of doing that though). But the 3D and the more modern graphics - if you compare it to other indiegames - is a nice change in the way of storyfocused 2D platformers. Spate always give you something to look at, you will never be bored, visually.

The gameplay is bog standard, but for the most part it's well done, relatively fun and doesn't bring too much frustration to the overall beauteous atmosphere. Parts of the gameplay are not really enjoyable, and doesn't really partake in the physics that the game otherwise upholds. It didn't make sense and it felt contrived. I am mostly referring to the parts where you used a cannon. Especially when you use a cannon to shoot balls into a basket that at the same time moves up and down, it felt out of place and I also fps-dropped in these parts of the game, which made it even worse.These were however short enough to not ruin the experience, but annoying nonetheless. These stops in movement made the game stagnate a bit, it ruined the flow and atmosphere in a way, for me. It felt really gamey, it snapped you out of the game and into a world where you are playing a game, trying to time a frustrating, fps-dropping ball into a bowl which seemingly made nothing happen. It didn't really give you the feedback you needed either to understand that you progressed. Or maybe I was just not paying attention in my boredom. Otherwise the gameplay is okay, but perhaps not the main draw of the game.

The story was interesting. But in a way that reminded me of Contrast, it didn't get it across in the best way possible. The end seemed rushed, lackluster in a way, the death of his daughter didn't really seem to have been absolved. That could just be the ending I chose, the mindless optimist that I am. Which some people may enjoy being there, but it seemed out of character and trivialized the daughters death.
There was also some weird writing, where the robot calls attention to the protagonists alcohol problem and he answer in anger, just after he himself have admitted to it being a problem. It felt like it was forced to give way for a dialogue later on. A dialogue infected by cliché.
The narrator is this deep voiced guy: Jack Bair, sort of sounds like Morgan Freeman and he really makes the narration a joy to listen to. It's a third person telling of what you're doing in the way of Bastion, only it's the protagonist talking from his point of view. And apart from some trite observations, or "ruining" - perhaps confirming - the symbolism you yourself get from the background, the narrator does really add to the game. It's simply great.

So Spate has its moments. It can be hilarious at times, it can be depressing at others. It does illustrate the delirium of an absinthe drinker. It's worthwhile for everything that it is. And for everything that it tries to be. It's intelligent, quirky, surreal, humorous, pretty, colorful. It has spirit.Hehe
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25 of 30 people (83%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 27, 2014
Spate is a fantastic experience and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

The game takes a very original approach to gameplay story telling and it pays off wonderfully. A deep and insightful story told through a man's journey in an unfamiliar environment.
You'll laugh, you'll feel alone in the world, you'll cry and you'll do all that as you navigate the most amazing landscapes. The graphics, sound and narration combine to make a surreal and irresistable setting. I found myself unable to stop playing it right through to the end as I wanted to see what was coming next. I won't spoil the game by giving any part of the story away as you really need to play through it to appreciate its originality.

I highly recommend this game.
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26 of 33 people (79%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 21, 2014
I greatly enjoy artsy, story-driven "walking simulators", and this seemed right up my alley. It definitely got the artsy walking simulator part down, but the story is really... boring. It's essentially "gosh, absinthe/alcoholism sure did ruin my life, but now it's the only thing keeping me going. Also I'm sad that I lost my wife and child." repeated about 30 times with different wordings. The ending bashes you in the face with symbolism that would make an English teacher proud. "Climbing this tower represents his struggle with alcoholism. The boss at the end sustains his life by feeding off the souls of those around him, just like the main character destroys those around him with his alcoholism."

The platforming bits are alright, but nothing particularly special. And though it might seem petty, I really didn't like the narrator's 1920's New Yorker accent - just didn't seem to fit the character at all. I like these kinds of games for their interesting stories, and this one's just too shallow and unengaging.
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19 of 21 people (90%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 17, 2014
If you played through Limbo and thought to yourself, "Boy, I could really do without the quality level design, evocative story, and intelligent puzzles", then Spate is the game for you. It's a 2D platformer that seems to try and emulate better games but only does so at a superficial level, leaving it completely devoid of any substance at all. The level design is bland, the platforming is unsatisfying, and the game offers little to no challenge at all. The gameplay itself is almost non-existent at times; one level in particular is pretty much a Flappy Bird clone, while another has you sliding down slippery slopes and jumping over gaps for about 2 minutes straight. There are instances where you're doing nothing but moving to the right while admiring the scenery and listening to the narrator go on about regret and how alcohol has consumed his life. It's just all too repetitive and boring.

On the positive side, the game is quite the treat visually and musically. I really enjoyed the art style, in particular the impressive backdrops of each level. The orchestral composition was probably the high-point of the experience. It did a great job of creating atmosphere and was one of the main reasons I continued playing for as long as I did.

All in all, Spate is a game that looks better than it plays. It builds up a strong ambiance, but unfortunately everything beneath that feels empty and shallow.
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